New York Jets receiver Quincy Enunwa is at a bit of a crossroads in his career. The former Nebraska football star will be missing yet another full season, but he told ESPN‘s Rich Cimini on Wednesday that he still has hopes of getting back on the field one day. In the same interview, the player made it clear that whether he’s able to play again might not be up to him.
“If I’m capable of playing, then that’s what I’ll do. If it comes down to the fact that the doctors say I can’t, there’s not much I can do. There’s really nothing I can do there, but if I have the ability to [play], the passion will always be there, the want-to will always be there.”
He added it was “devastating” to learn he would miss another full season. He’s out for 2020 due to a neck injury that doctors have told him could be a career-ender.
On May 5, the Jets placed Enunwa on the Physical Unable to Perform (PUP) list. Before the move, the team made it clear it had little hope the receiver would play this year. It’s actually the second time the former Husker has been sidelined with this particular neck injury.
He previously missed the entire 2017 season but was able to return in 2018. He re-injured his neck in the 2019 opener and missed the final 15 games. Despite the repeat injury, he decided against having another surgery and hasn’t been able to recuperate to a level the team is comfortable with. By the end of this year, he’ll have missed three of the last four seasons. He told Cimini that in spite of the amount of time he’s missed, he doesn’t have any regrets about the decisions he’s made.
“I think everybody tried to handle it the best way that we could. There’s no way to have prevented this other than not play football, and I don’t know if I would’ve been as happy if I made that choice.”
Despite questions about whether Enunwa will ever be able to play again, he remains on the Jets’ payroll. He will earn $6 million this season and will get at least $4.1 million next year, if he continues to have to sit out.
When Cimini asked him about his contract, Enunwa said he wants to be a Jet for life. He pointed to Eli Manning playing 17 seasons with the New York Giants before finally retiring after the 2019 season.
Prior to his injuries, the receiver was considered one of the top young players for the Jets. His best season was 2016 when he caught 58 passes for 857 yards.